A member of the House of Lords visited Chiswick School recently to speak with students, ahead of a parliamentary debate about reducing the voting age to 16.
In the debate Viscount Stansgate, Stephen Benn, argued in favour of the bill and quoted the views of Chiswick students, saying:
“it is very important that their voices be heard.”
Chiswick School said they were “delighted” to welcome him to speak with their A Level Politics students. On his visit he spoke about his role and the work of the House of Lords.
He sent students the voting age bill to read, along with a survey to complete to share their views. Two thirds came out in favour of reducing the voting age.
He read out several of the students’ comments including these:
“16 years old have the ability to participate in society and be as independent as adults. At 16 you can work, leave home and enlist in the military etc. If 16 year olds are somehow too immature to vote, then they shouldn’t be allowed to do this things either.”
“It would increase participation and encourage young people to get involved in politics, however, many 16 year olds can be easily misinformed by social media and might not know how to smartly vote.”
Video below: of Viscount Stansgate quoting Chiswick School’s students in the House of Lords Debate
Chiswick school ‘immensely proud’ of participating students
Fatima-Zahra, a Year 13 politics student who has just been accepted to read Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge, said:
“It was fantastic to meet Viscount Stansgate because it opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on British politics. The insight he gave me led me to appreciate the value of the House of Lords in a way I hadn’t before and made me even more excited to study Politics at university!”
Somah, a year 12 Politics student said:
“It was nice to have someone with real authority come and ask us for our opinion, especially because it is our future being affected and we don’t get many opportunities like this. It was brilliant to be able to see exactly what we said being passed on.”
Curriculum Area Leader for Humanities Miss Nonnenmacher said:
“I was immensely proud to see our A Level students participate so fully in the parliamentary process. As a school and as a Politics department, we have always encouraged our students to be active citizens and this was a fantastic reward for them.
“Their enthusiasm about the political process and their own role within it has exploded since Viscount Stansgate’s speech and we are looking forward to harnessing that in lessons! We are truly grateful to Stephen Benn for his efforts in bringing Parliament closer to our students and taking their voices into the House of Lords.”
Image above: politics students at Chiswick School
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